Ken Ham’s response to opposition’s “lies” about his theme park project.
Ken Ham, with the group Answers in Genesis, has constructed billboards to call out the “media and secularists [who] have spread misinformation about the project all over the internet and other outlets,” while also driving traffic to his website, as he shared in his blog.
His group is in the process of building a theme park representation of Noah’s ark, complete with the biblical events for rides, which is scheduled to be completed in 2016. The park resides in Williamstown, Kentucky.
The Controversy Surrounding the Project
The multi-million dollar project has faced numerous setbacks and criticisms since the announcement in 2010. Originally, it was offered a tax break and state tax incentives from local public institutions, however the hiring stipulations have caused many to cite separation of church and state laws. One such group, the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, notified the state about the language found in a job listing from Ken Ham’s group. The posting required all applicants to provide a “salvation testimony and a statement on marriage and sexuality.” In response to these allegations, Bob Stewart, the Tourism Secretary for the State, wrote that Kentucky would not be approving the tax incentives for the Ark Encounter.
Well-known figures have come forward to voice their own problems with the project. Bill Nye the Science Guy had a debate with Ham in February, in which he said he “hopes the project goes out of business.” He feels that should Ham build the ark, “it’s in [his] strong opinion it’s bad for the commonwealth of Kentucky and bad for scientists based in Kentucky, and bad for the US.” He added, “And I’m not joking, bad for the world.”
In March, the founder of the “Friendly Athiest” blog criticized the idea that the Ark Encounter will bring in money for Kentucky through tourists. He said that “if you want to help the economy, don’t invest in biblical fantasies. Invest in [real] museums and planetariums and aquariums,” give children the opportunity to think critically and dream big.
Ken Ham Argues Back
Answers in Genesis posted an article in an attempt to counter this “misinformation on the project.” They claim that while this myth is circulating, “this is utterly untrue. No unwilling taxpayers will see their tax dollars used to build the Ark. The money involved from the Kentucky Tourism tax incentive only concerns sales tax that will be collected from people who voluntarily visit the completed Ark when its fully operational.”
- Christian Post
- Answers Outreach
- Americans United for Separation of Church and State
- Friendly Atheist